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Travel Photography Footprint Travel Guides Paperback – 30 Sep 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Footprint Travel Guides (30 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906098425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906098421
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Although he is now getting old and his beard (when unshaven) is going grey and makes him resemble a badger, Steve Davey is insanely optimistic and believes that the best of life is always in front of him. A writer and photographer based in London, Steve has turned his day job into a way of life. He travels compulsively and is in love with the chaos of being on the road. A self-confessed crap sightseer, he is more interested in how places work and often how they don't, than visiting monuments and museums. He would also rather be told he resembles Jean Reno than a badger and is working on immoral ways to use this to his own advantage.

Steve's work has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers all over the world. He is the author and principal photographer of Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die published by BBC Books. This bestselling title has sold over 300,000 copies and has some 30 co-editions around the world. A second title Unforgettable Islands to Escape to Before You Die, was published in 2007, and involved Steve catching 99 flights in a year and flying the equivalent of over seven times around the world.

2013 saw Steve publish two books; Around the World in 500 Festivals (Kuperard, 2013) and a second edition of Footprint Travel Photography. To complement the first edition of this book, Steve launched a unique series of travel photography tours and London courses.

Steve accompanies all of the tours providing his unique blend of tailored tuition, encouragement and boundless enthusiasm. Forthcoming destinations include Uzbekistan, Jordan and the Arctic. You can see more about these on

Product Description


A great aid to budding travel photographers, this attractive, informative and inspirational book is sure to be well thumbed before you know it. --Real Travel Magazine<br /><br />With a host of tips on everything from pre-trip planning and how to conquer niggly technical problems to selling your work, this practical guide will transform you into a super-snapper in no time. --Wanderlust Magazine<br /><br />After many years on the road Steve has poured all his experiences into a new guidebook to travel photography, which is mightily inspiring. --The Telegraph

With a host of tips on everything from pre-trip planning and how to conquer niggly technical problems to selling your work, this practical guide will transform you into a super-snapper in no time. --Wanderlust Magazine

After many years on the road Steve has poured all his experiences into a new guidebook to travel photography, which is mightily inspiring. --The Telegraph

From the Author

(From... About This Book)

This book really is a labour of love. I have wanted to write it for some time. In part, it is a retrospective of my work over the past dozen or so years of travelling. In part, it is an expansion of all the travel photography articles I have written, especially the regular features for Wanderlust magazine in the UK and Get Lost magazine in Australia. Freed from the constraints of a short magazine article I have, finally, been able to go into the depth I feel the subject needs. I hope you agree.

I learnt my trade shooting transparency film, where everything had to be spot on in the camera. Although in later years, I used to scan my transparencies on to a computer so that I could make certain changes and edits, the exposure and colour balance had to be right. What wasn't recorded on the slide, just wasn't there. I used colour correction filters to sort out the white balance and graduated filters to balance shadow and highlights; I calculated exposure manually with a spot meter, and there were times when the conditions were such that I couldn't shoot.

On a long trip I used to carry vast amounts of film and fuss over it like a mother hen, protecting it from heat, X-rays and loss. When I got home I paced nervously waiting for it to be processed and, then, pored over it, hunched over a lightbox, before embarking on the long process of editing, mounting and captioning. I used to get a thrill from the fact that the picture was created by light falling on this very piece of celluloid and causing a chemical reaction, just a few millimetres from my cheek!

Now, I almost exclusively shoot digital. I love digital photography. I love the immediacy, the cost, the speed of the process and the sheer quality. I love the fact that I can create back-up copies instantly and work on my images when I am away. With a digital camera, a laptop and an internet connection I can work and distribute my pictures from anywhere.

The vast majority of photographers now shoot digital and you will struggle to buy a new film camera. Yet, there is a significant minority that still shoots film and there is a good second-hand market for film cameras. When I lead a photo tour, it seems that out of a dozen people, a couple will be shooting film and they are often amongst the most serious photographers. Although this book is primarily aimed at the digital travel photographer, I have not ignored those still shooting film. Many of the photographic principles behind photography are the same whatever camera you are using; where there are differences in approach, I have identified them.

Where possible, I have included the lens and exposure details for each picture but, in many cases, this is simply not possible. Digital cameras record this information with each frame; film cameras don't. Some people claim to have written down exposure and lens details for every frame they shot on film, but I certainly didn't: I was too busy taking pictures.

Although I am covering different types of cameras, this book is not a replacement for your camera manual. I can tell you what the various functions of your camera might do and when you might use them but, with so many camera models on the market, you will need to consult your manual to ascertain just where these functions are located and how to use them in your individual case. I am assuming that you can already operate the basic functions, including simple controls, copying pictures to your computer or changing film. Although I have included some information about choosing and buying different styles of camera, I have tried to avoid countless pages of technical information. There are websites - notably the incomparable Digital Photography Review - that are able to do this in more depth and that can keep pace with advances in technology far better than me. I wanted to write a book teaching people how to take pictures, not how to buy cameras.

I have also taken the decision not to include `bad' pictures, illustrating poor exposure, focus and composition and a host of other mistakes. This is partly due to personal vanity and partly because I would like people to take pleasure from just flicking through this book, enjoying the pictures.

I hope this book is about more than just taking pictures. Photography is a fantastic motivator and should encourage you to get more out of your travels. It has done that for me. If this book conveys just a part of the excitement and wonder that I have experienced during my explorations over the past few years, then it will have succeeded.

Steve Davey

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
A film camera uses a lens to focus light from a subject onto light-sensitive film. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erik Norgaard on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book on photography in general and travel photography in particular. I think it is a great book for anyone with an interest in photography, you don't need to be a pro or even promateur with years experience or tons of equipment. In fact I think this book is ideal for the 99% of people who just like to take photos where ever they go.

This book will show you new ways of looking at the world and discover and explore any location. This will not only get you more interesting photos, you will also enjoy your travel more and travel with more curioussity.

While this book is not very technical, Steve does teach how to get more from your camera within its limits, be it compact or DSLR. While the book includes tips for both compacts and film SLR, I think it is mostly written with DSLR in mind.

The last chapter on professional travel photography is somewhat out of scope for the book and too brief to be of any use.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David T. Thomas on 4 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the only photography book I have read from cover to cover - and I have at least 20. Steve is not only a great photographer, but he also has the ability, gained through practical experience, of knowing the challenges of taking a good photograph and explaining simply and with good humour how to overcome them.

The book is laid out in easy to access sections that create in themselves a top level workflow, from preparation before you travel to post production, and how to go about marketing your images when you get home. All his advice is illustrated through his own photographs, which set a tough benchmark for the rest of us to aim at. I am about to embark on a two month trip to Australia and New Zealand, and along with all my camera kit I shall definitely include Steve's book in my 20kg allowance. What better endorsement is there than that?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. blaney on 27 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I've owned this book 6weeks and I honestly haven't been able to put it down.
Its absolutely superb. The book is filled with invaluable tips and advice on every aspect of Travel photography, from someone who's a very experienced and evidently successful, well published, professional photographer. Everyone will find many topics to suit them, even if they primarily are not a travel photographer.

The book really is very informative and real-world placing a heavy emphasis on real-world tips when working on location or in the field, particularly in dealing with people, which is why its relevant to so many photographers. Having lived in South East Asia for 5years and traveled extensively in the region, I know and greatly appreciate the hard work and effort that has gone into producing a book like this, which comes across in Steves honesty and openess throughout the book.

Aside from being packed with amazing images captured from all over the world, Steve talks you through difficulties he encountered, solutions, human interaction, and of course camera settings for the shots.

The book also has a huge section where Steve goes the professional aspects of photography based on his own experiences as a working professional photographer. He covers copyrighting considerations, procedures for backing up images and a good overview of efficient post production editing workflow considerations.

Even if you aren't into travel photography, this book is simply superb. Its packed full of tips and advice, applicable to every genre of photography and will not only inspire you to get out there shooting, but will without a doubt improve and raise your game.

If you haven't got this book, I would definitely recommend buying it. Having read hundreds of photography books, this is one that I'll definitely keep as an everyday reference and working manual based on a Pro's first hand account of years on the road.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William on 4 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Steve Davey's mission in this beautifully crafted book is to "inspire you to to create pictures that you are proud of, not just records of the fantastic places that you travel to." A quick flick through the 320-page volume and you'll see plenty of stunning examples of just how that can be achieved - from misty views of the Taj Mahal framed by trees and rushes to action shots of the Tomatina Festival in Spain.

This is far more, though, than a book of pretty pictures. Davey is clearly not only a master of the lens, but he also knows how to explain the art of travel photography in an informative yet engaging and personal way. The book is divided into six main sections: Preparation, Exploration, Execution, Inspiration, Correction and Profession. This works well for novice photographers who can work their way from cover to cover, while more experienced snappers can easily focus in on relevant topics. The Profession section at the end of the book gives a very useful introduction into how your photos can start earning you money.

I particularly like Steve's cultural shots. His portraits and festival images are stunning. Every image in the book is accompanied by a detailed caption (something that elevates this book above many of its rival titles) with personal insight into how/why/where/when the shot was taken, plus technical details on camera type, lens, shutter speed, aperture etc.

The Inspiration section of the book covers themes like landscapes and wildlife as well as often-overlooked topics like reportage, photo stories and aerial photography. The chapter on Correction gets to grips with processing digital images and uses 'screen grabs' to effectively illustrate various aspects of Photoshop and other image editing software.

All in all, this is is an excellent guidebook that should appeal to everyone, from keen travellers who like to pack a compact digital camera, to keen photographers who want to take their hobby to the next level.
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